The site witnessed three coronation durbars — in 1877, 1903 and 1911 — and hence was named the Coronation Park.
The historical venue is now in line for rechristening, as experts feel ‘Coronation Park’ is “inappropriate” and “glorifies” a British event.
A four-member expert committee has been set up by the Delhi Development Authority, which owns the plot, to scout for a new name for the park.
Last week, the panel was asked to examine “the need for renaming the park” and, thereafter, also to find a “suitable name for it”.
The expert committee has already been entrusted with the responsibility of vetting the storyline of a permanent exhibition that is proposed to come up at the interpretation centre in the Park.
The panel comprises M Varadarajan, former secretary, Ministry of Culture, and eminent historians such as Mushirul Hasan, Director General of National Archives, Narayani Gupta of Jamia Millia Islamia and Shahid Amin of Delhi University.
“There have been talks in the academic and culture circles that the name ‘Coronation Park’ is inappropriate and glorifies a British event. The committee members are an authority on the history of Delhi. They have lived here for years and have studied the evolution of the Capital,” A G K Menon, Convenor, Delhi Chapter of INTACH, which has been engaged to redevelop the Park, told Newsline.
Menon said the members will soon go on a site visit to see how the park has been redeveloped. “The team was set up last week and, once they have visited the site, will meet to discuss the new name.”
Professor Mushirul Hasan said, “Some places have to be renamed because the people or events after which they were named are no longer relevant to our country. Renaming of places is not unjustified and, in this case, we will try and reconcile our past with our present.”
A permanent exhibition will also be set up at the site in North Delhi. Exhibition designer Siddhartha Chatterjee and his team have been working on a storyline that will deftly avoid glorifying the Durbar or the Raj. The exhibition will dwell less on the three durbars held at the park and more on the evolution of New Delhi as the Capital. The storyline will vetted by the expert committee so that “no wrong message” is given out.
A 31-metre flagpost has also been constructed, towering over the obelisk, for hoisting the Tricolour. Sources in the DDA said the park